History ofC o n ' s M u s i c D r a m a
Con (Corrado Corolla) piano accordionist (fis-harmonica player) and Leader of "Con and the Latin Beats" at the Fraternity Club, Fairy Meadow, was an Italian immigrant who came to Australia in 1958 with his wife and three sons and established Con's Music School in 1978 as a couple of rooms above his newly-opened Con's Music Shop at 25 Princes Highway in Fairy Meadow.
There he installed Sam Folino (Guitarist and later Leader of The Latin Beats) as manager and Guitar teacher and Rob Smith (UoW Music/Education Lecturer and Leader of The Difference Band) as Piano & Organ teacher. Con's shop only lasted a few years—not being able to compete with the other bigger Wollongong and Sydney stores—and so folded, leaving the teaching studios still operating and Con returning to his family-run (wife and two of his sons) delicatessan business which grew further into "Corrado & Franks"—you can still see the vans delivering to restaurants today, even though Con has long-since passed away.
In those early years, Con's Music School was managed by Sam Folino and then, after his brief departure from Wollongong to the North Coast, by Rob Smith who engaged various other guitar tutors including Andrew Kobin and eventually Darren Buczma. Through this period of time Con's Music School also offerred Drum tuition under the expert tutelage of Phil Nixon. Patricia Worley-Smith (having graduated with Bachelor of Creative Arts in Voice, Thatre & Drama from UoW) joined the teaching staff in the late 'eighties as Singing tutor.
From 1991, Con's Music School was under the joint management of Rob and his wife Trish and in 2004 they moved out into more spacious studios at 5 Balgownie Road where they continued with Darren until his departure to work for himself, at which time they securied the talents of Anthony Maruca as Guitar and Bass tutor.
Given its expansion further with Trish's Drama expertise, Con's Music Drama School (as it became known in 2011) was quick to snap up the lease of and refurbish the Palermo's Mixed Busineness at 25 Balgownie Road—commercial premises which apparently had been built by the family and opened in 1983 becoming known as the best place in Balgownie for fish-n-chips]. So, to begin in Term4 of 2011—just 10 houses up the road—Con's Music Drama School moved into 25 Balgownie Road where the landlords, Johnny (Giacomo) & Lucy (Lucia) and their daughter, Julie, are still living behind and above the studios and are very supportive of their new-found family of students and teachers. Con's Music Drama School welcomed Caitlin Park in Term 4, 2012, as junior teacher in Flute and Recorder.